Jonathan Vaughters has admitted that he sacked Matt White from the Garmin Cervelo team after he sent a rider for a VO2 Max test in 2009 without consulting the team's medical staff.
Slipstream Sports announced Matt White's dismissal earlier today soon after the team won the Tour Down Under with Cameron Meyer.
"I am also absolutely 100 per cent sure that the reason Whitey sent Trent [Lowe] to that doctor was not precarious in any shape or form," Vaughters said. "At this point in time, Luis Garcia del Moral worked at a Government-funded sports clinic in Valencia. It's the only clinic of its type that can do a VO2 Max test, [and]Trent was asking for that to be done at that time."
"Trent lives in Valencia when he lives in Europe, so Whitey simply referred him there. There was nothing precarious about that what so ever."
The team's internal policy states that all referrals to doctors can only be done by their medical staff.
Vaughters said he found out about the referral "about two weeks ago, or ten days. Out of respect for the riders racing the Tour Down Under, I felt that it was a decision that should not be taken while they are racing every day, with the physiological and physical demands that go into that every day. That's why I waited."
The incident took place in April 2009, and for some reason Lowe, who left the team at the end of 2010 to join Pegasus Sports, only just decided to inform his old team. "I don't have any idea why Trent Lowe would decide to bring this up at this point in time, but he did," Vaughters continued.
Asked if other riders had been referred to the same doctor, who worked for Lance Armstrong's teams between 1999-2003, Vaughters said, "No, absolutely not. We searched into our e-mail server and looked into that quite extensively. Phone records and everything else, to see if there was any evidence at any point in time to see if Whitey would have referred anyone else to that doctor, and no, absolutely not."
"I am very disappointed in Whitey's lack of judgment and forethought into making that decision. He is obviously unhappy [about the decision], but he accepted it. That's about all I can say."
Matt White was recently made Cycling Australia's Professional Men's Road Coordinator, a role he was to fulfil alongside his job at Garmin-Cervelo, but had been linked to Shane Bannan's new Green Edge team that will apply for a Proteam licence for 2012.
Matt White sacked from Garmin Cervelo team
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